THE ALL-ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS. The All-England Championships have just been completed at Wimbledon, and probably there has never been such a gathering or world's champions in lawn tennis or any other sport as was seen at this meeting of 1905. To gain honours at the All-England Meeting is, really to be hall-stamped as a player of the very highest degree in the world. In other words, it is the classical tournament in connection with the sport. The Gentlemen's Single Championship is, and has always been, the most important event of the lawn tennis world — the "Blue Ribbon" of lawn tennis ; and the player who has had the honour to hold it may congratulate himself he could take no higher honour — at all events, as far as lawn tennis is concerned. (The International contest does not really toll who is the best singleplayer of the world, or, at any rate, might not.) The event was first introduced, in 1877, by the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, and was decided on its grounds at Wimbledon,i where' it' has ever since been contested, and obtained the entiy of 22, in 1880 the total was 60, and that total held the record until last year, when the record was 62 entries (1905 total not yet. known). Mr. Spencer Gore won the first championship competition, and the name reminds me that A. W. Gore, whp was beaten by Brookes in the semi-final of this year's event, made his eighteenth appearance at Wimbledon, his 'first effort there being in the year 1888, since which time he has never missed one meeting — a truly marvellous record. He won the Championship in 1901, beating the holder—R. F. Doherty. Coming to this year's event, without doubt it has been one of the greatest contests of the age, and the winner, H. L. Doherty, can be pronounced Champion of Champions. He was in brilliant form, and won by 3 sets straight. Probably the winner was never in greater form, and Australasia can well be proud of its champion, Norman Brookes, who came through the All-Comers' Singles, won the final from S. H. Smith, of England, and then the champion had a hirrd battle for the championship. In 1902 H. L. Doherty beat Gore (holder) 6—4, 6—3,' 3-^6, 6—0—21 games to 13, in 1903 beat Risely 7—5, 6—3, 6^ — 0-— l9 games to 8, in 1904 again beat Riseley 6—l, 7—5, 8—6—21 games to 12, and now has beaten Brookes B—6, 6—2,6 — 2, 6—4—206 — 4— 20 games to 12. Considering that this is the first time Brookes has ever had the experience of playing against the champion, his display compares favourably with "runners-up" of past seabons — indeed,, it might be said that he has done even 1 better. It is quite on tho cards that with a few more matches against the flower of England players he might turn the tables. At any rate, to get into the final round of the "Blue Ribbon" fiist time of asking is indeed a great achievement, and one that Brookes can be justly proud of. More so when he put such players as Riseley, Smith, and Gore out — these defeated players are top-notchers, the two firßt-named ranking third and fourth on the classification list with I—61 — 6 from che Doherty Brothers, and then comes Ritchie, Greville, and Gore with 3—6.3 — 6.
Wilding also did well to hold in' until the round before the semi-final,, when Gore beat him. I n beating Clothier, of America, 'and Dunlop, of Victoria, the JSew Zealauder can be stamped as a pl-vyer of no mean order, and as he is yet on the young side, has plenty of time to improve his position. Wilding has a Slashing fore-hand cross-court drive that invariably is a winning shot. Our New Zealand champion, H. A. Parker, has not been mentioned in the Singles, but in all probability when the detailed repent arrives of the match we shall find that he has put up a good fight against one of the "big guns" in the early part of the draw. Brookes by his ; win in the All-Comers' Singles takes "The Renshaw Cup " valued £20. This cup has been presented by the surviving members of the family of the late Ernest and William Renshaw (noted champions of England from 1881 to 1889) to commemorate their names, and a cup will be presented annually as the first prize, to ,be won outright year after year, in the AllComers* Singles. H. L. Doherty wins the 100-guinea cup given by the All-England Club. A brief description of Brookes's general play might be of interest. He is a lefthanded player, and somewhat after the style of Laishley in some respects as follows: — When right at the top of form is most brilliant, his shots being almost untakable owing to the hurricane pace iD which they come pelting down and across court, and yet, like the New Zealander, if off colour, his opponent has only to jplay safe to win, as he beats himself with "outs" or "nets." Brookes has a very fast straight service, and in addition has acquired the American twist service, which he can break both ways. His ground shots are full of power, his driving being terrific at times ; at the same time he is not purely and simply a hitter, but can make the slow passing shots with greater precision eyeD than our champion, H. A. Parker. To have seen him against such mighty smiters as Smith, Ritchie, Riseley, or Gore must have been well wortk watching. The former of the quartet is reckoned the greatest hitter of the age. TSie Gentlemen's Double Championship (the winners to hold 60-Guinea Cup originally presented by the Oxford University Lawn Tennis Club) was not introduced until 1879, and owes its existence to presenters of the cup, which is the identical one at present held by the Doubles champion . pair. The event was played at Oxford until 1884, when it was transferred to the All-England Club, and is now annually decided at Wimbledon. Of late years the Doherty Brothers have held the championship; their first win being in 1897 from the Baddeley Brothers. S. H. Smith and F. L. Riseley won in 1902, but the famous Doherty Brothers again took charge for the next t%vo years, and have again won this year from the 1902 champions, who were beaten by 5 sets to 1. All of our men did well in this I event — Brookes and Dunlop got to the i final after beating the great American players, Lamed and Clothier, by 3 sets to 1, which was a splendid performance ; but our pair went down to the English pair, Smith and Riseley, in final by 3 sets to 1. Wilding and Parker, after winning a good heat from Ritchie and Simond — a noted pair of England — were stopped, but by whom so far is not known — probably Smith and Riseley, as "they would be on their half of the draw. The Ladies' Single Championship (50Gurnea Cup) was started in 1884, and ' Miss Maud Watson was the first champion. Mrs. Hillyard in 1886 (then Miss Bingley) won the event, and was also successful in 1889, '94, '97, '99, and 1900. Miss Douglass was successful in 1903 and 1904, and her play was of. such a high order that it was reckoned that she ! would be champion for some years to ! come, but a new star has arisen in the ! person of Miss May Sutton, of Pasadena, in South California, and she has carried off the championship without losing a set. Miss Suttop was born in England, but learned her tennis in America, — she is only 18 years of age, and yet is the champion of the world. I She started the game at a very early | age, and from the first showed talent, which was brought out by having to play against the very best of adults in her clnb, with the above result. (Huka's old argument — if a club wants champions it must give its young ■ players good solid practice, and no "sports" will begrude youngsters a win from them.) Miss Sntton last year beat Miss Moore, the American champion, at Philadelphia, 6-^-2, 6—l,6 — 1, and took tho championship, and again at New York, on the Cres-
cent Club Courts, won from the exchampion 6—o,6 — 0, 6—o. Miss Sutton was to have competed at the Northern Championship, held at Manchester, before the All-England events, but no news has been given of the result. It was expected that fully fifty entries would be received for the All-England Ladies' Championship, and as Mibs Sutton Avould have to play through the event, her win is a splendid one. Miss Douglass developed a tennis elbow while on the Continent tour, and possibly may not have quite got over it. The Ladies' Double Championship was first established at the Buxton tournament, Derbyshire, at which meeting "it has ever since been decided. There is no challenge round in. this event. Misses Douglass aud Thomson (holders) won last year from Mrs. HiUyard and Miss Kendul 8— 6,, 6—l. The Mixed Doubles' Championship was started in 1888, and at onca became popular. The winners' list comprises the names of mosb of the well-known exponents of tho game. The event is held in conjunction with the Northern Tournament, •nhich is alternately held at Manchester and Liverpool. In 1903 Miss Douglass and Riseley beat Miss Martin and Smith 6—3,6 — 3, 6—3, .and last year Miss E. W. Thomson and S. H. Smith beat Miss Douglass and Riseley 9—7, 5—7, 8-6. At last year's All-England Meeting the admission to the ground was 2s 6d each day, and then an extra charge of 2s 6d for a. seat iv the covered stands. This year tickets of admission to ground and seat in covered stands available for 'the whole of the meeting had to be applied for early, and the price was 17s 6d. The International event is now in progress, and our players should give a good account of themselves. Should they be successful in getting to the Challenge round they will meet the holders of the Davis Cup— Great Britain and Ireland. And from all accounts then the proposed mateh — six a-side, Australia v. England —will not be played. Some correspondence has reached "Huka" asking for opinions for and against the advisableness of picking teams for "shield" matches from the "Ladder." As "Huka's" regular notes have not started yet, this must be held' over, but will probably be given early attention— as it is asked for as a guide for the incoming season.
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Lawn Tennis., Evening Post, Volume LXX, Issue 13, 15 July 1905
Lawn Tennis. Evening Post, Volume LXX, Issue 13, 15 July 1905
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